If you’re like me, not everything on your to-do list or project list gets done. And yet, if you’re like me, it’s vital that certain projects do get done.

Of course, the difference in what gets done and what doesn’t get done fundamentally relates to the choices we make in preparation and execution. But just what are those choices that make a difference?

Some years ago, I read six of the principles below in a book or article that quoted Gary McIntosh (I believe from his book The Exodus Principle) and then added one of my own to the list. I don’t remember how each principle was described, but below is a description of how I’ve seen it work in my life and our ministry.

What preparation decisions can leaders make regarding what gets done? Here are seven. Obviously, not all seven of these principles relate to every project or need, but the more that can be applied, the better the chance something has of getting done.

  1. What gets PICTURED gets done. Someone once defined vision as “a preferable picture for the future.” Consider what this preferable picture looks like for your area of responsibility—perhaps your classroom on the first day of school, the fall soulwinning kick off in your church, or an upcoming training event which you are leading. Picture how this scenario will look, and then list what you need to do between now and then to make it a reality.
  2. What gets PLANNED gets done. All of us know how to write out a list. But beyond listing what must be done, do you have a plan for how you will get it done? Everything that we do of significance is worthy of a thought-out plan.
  3. What gets MODELED gets done. Do you remember the teachers in school who required you to turn in your papers on time but then they were weeks late with your grade? Their procrastination probably deflated your motivation. So it will be in the teams you lead. If you want an organized, punctual, prepared, efficient team, you must be that kind of leader.
  4. What gets PRAISED gets done. When you see someone doing something well, tell them. Better still, tell others in front of them.
  5. What gets TRAINED gets done. Sometimes leaders assume people naturally know the knowledge and skill which the leader has acquired. I remember as a young teenager serving as a summer intern at my church and being given the responsibility to sweep the breezeway. I pushed the broom around for awhile and called it done. It wasn’t until Mr. Hamilton, the church administrator, took time to show me the proper way to use a push broom that I learned. Sweeping seems so simple that it shouldn’t require training, but it did. And I’m thankful Mr. Hamilton taught me rather than doing it himself after I left.
  6. What gets MEASURED gets done. Long-term goals need a system of tracking progress. If you want to be “a more-consistent soulwinner,” that simple desire may not take you very far over a several-month period. But if you set a goal of how many people you want to present the gospel to each week and then begin keeping a record of how diligently you are following through on your goal, you are more likely to be a more consistent soulwinner. Measuring goals is not only important for individual progress, but also for progress as a team.
  7. What gets BUDGETED gets done. If you have a project but have no money, no plan for how your will raise or save the money—and don’t even know how much it will cost, your project is probably not going to get done. On the flip side, if you take the time to consider and budget for the cost involved in a project, you have mentally added value to that project and are much more likely to follow through on completing it.

Take a few minutes of personal inventory. What in your realm of responsibility is not only on your list, but must get done? As a leader, what is vital that your team accomplishes?

How many of these seven principles have you applied to that project or responsibility?

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…—Ecclesiastes 9:10

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men—Colossians 3:23

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